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Are 5 Second Ads the New Snapchat?

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We live in a visual world. To make a story or campaign compelling, visuals or video are absolutely essential. In fact, it is commonly cited that the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. People are captivated by short, instant bursts of content—even content that disappears after a few seconds like Snapchat.

Platforms like Pandora and Vine offer bite-sized video content with homegrown, organic videos that go viral in a matter of days. Recently, Pepsi announced a collection of five-second ads designed to to gratify millennials. Pepsi plans to make 100 different ads for TV and digital this summer to promote their new emoji-themed bottles. And YouTube will soon show 6-second “Bumper” ads before videos, which cannot be skipped.

The market for online video has evolved immensely. When online video first launched, brands re-purposed existing 30 & 60-second TV commercials. The ads looked more clunky, required click-to-start, and didn’t assimilate with the surrounding content.

Instant gratification has become the norm—with advertisers and publishers adapting to meet the consumption behavior of today’s shortened attention span. Video ads are easier than ever to consume with the broad installation and access to broadband on desktop and mobile. Shorter videos ads have higher viewability and completion rates since the content is near instant. In effect, shorter ads may be more successful since consumers are more likely to watch the ads and remember the advertiser.

Today, online video ads are custom-created for each channel, the ads auto-play and compete for attention with a surplus of surrounding ads. Eighty-five percent of online video ads are un-skippable. MediaRadar found that almost all of the video ads (98%) that run less than 10 seconds are un-skippable.

According to MediaRadar data, there were over 1,100 new video advertisers in Q1 2016 alone who didn’t place ads in 2015. Online video is a key driver in digital ad spend with $9.6 billion predicted ad spend for 2016. In 2015, $1.5 billion dollars shifted from linear TV to digital. And yet there remains ample opportunity to grow. Only 10% of TV advertisers bought online video ads in Q1 2016.

Publishers are constantly innovating and introducing new products or ad offerings too. From premium page takeovers to YouTube’s new Breakout Videos that will highlight the fastest-growing videos as an indicator of viral potential.

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Todd Krizelman is Co-Founder and CEO of MediaRadar (@MediaRadar). Growing up near the epicenter of technological innovation in Palo Alto, California encouraged him to become an entrepreneur and co-found of one of the world’s first social media sites, theGlobe.com. Krizelman also held leadership positions at Bertelsmann’s Gruner + Jahr and Random House. With his expertise in ad sales and innovation, Krizelman joined veteran web architect, Jesse Keller, to found MediaRadar in 2007.